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< prev - next > Construction Stone construction KnO 100080_Building with Stone part two (Printable PDF)
Building with stone & earth: Part II
Practical Action
Of course, square rondavels have corners, which round ones do not. For these, try and find
stones that are a little larger and longer than the average. These are then laid so that the long
side of the first stone goes along one wall, and the long side of the stone on the next row up
goes along the other wall. This ties the walls together well and makes for a strong finish. Look
at the figure below to see how this works.
Because the strings are fixed to the poles, all you have
to do to keep your wall
Building with stone and
earth is not dangerous, but
there are one or two points
straight is to make
sure that each stone is
laid so that it almost
touches the string.
that you should bear in
There has to be a very
tiny gap between the
stone and the string. If
Do not try to lift a stone that
is too heavy. Get some one
else to help you.
the stone does touch
the string any-where, it
will push the string
If you have to break stone to
get the sizes and shapes that
you need, remember that
sharp pieces of stone can fly
off at high speed. It is very
outwards, so that when
you lay the next layer
of stones they will be
in the wrong position.
Using the strings as an
important to protect your
accurate guide is
eyes, so close your eyes at
extremely important; if
the moment of impact, hold
you do it correctly,
your other arm up to shield
your eyes or, best of all, wear
protective glasses or a mask.
your rondavel will look
very good indeed and
be very stable.
Figure 3: Building up to the door
When you reach the door poles you build the same way as you did for the round rondavel. Try
to use a long stone that extends the whole width of the wall, and then balance it with two
stones on the next layer.
Every time you have built up to the strings, raise them again by about a hand's width, and
continue until the wall is the height you want. Remember to brush the joints smooth with
water once the mud is about half dry.
Single walls
The examples given here have used walls with two
'skins' one inside and one outside, with the middle
filled with mud and waste stone. These are usually
known as 'double’ walls. If you are fortunate
enough to have enough of the right size of stone, or
you are prepared to search for longer in order to
find stones that are suitable, then there is a
method of using mud and stone that is even easier
and quicker to build. This is known as single, or
'single skin' walling.
You will need a good number of building stones
that are not less than about 30cm long, and the
flatter and more regular they are, the easier it will
be to build with them. It should be noted that
using this method will give a strong house or other
building of one storey, but it is not suitable for
Figure 4: The foundation layer is
wider than the wall